2017 Minor League Drug Suspensions

SEE ALSO: 2016 Drug Suspensions

SEE ALSO: 2015 Drug Suspensions

SEE ALSO: 2014 Drug Suspensions

SEE ALSO: 2013 Drug Suspensions

Bookmark this page to keep up with all the drug suspensions—as they’re announced by the commissioner’s office—handed out to domestic minor league players in 2017. Positive tests for performance-enhancers, recreational drugs (a.k.a. drugs of abuse) and stimulants count as violations of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.

April 24

• Mariners RHP Jonathan Aro

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Violation of drug agreement
Aro originally signed with Boston for just $10,000 in 2011 out of the Dominican Republic. He reached the majors in 2015 and was sent to Seattle along with lefthander Wade Miley for righthanded reliever Carson Smith and lefty swingman Roenis Elias.

• Indians RHP Steve Delabar

Suspension Length: 80 games
Violating Substances: Ostarine
Delabar, 33, signed with the Indians in January but has not pitched in 2017. The hard-throwing righthander was an all-star in 2013 when he averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings, but struggled with control the past three seasons. He walked 10 batters in eight innings in 2016 with the Reds and later played for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League.

• Free agent RHP Jeffry Fernandez
Suspension Length: 80 games
Violating Substances: Stanozolol
Fernandez was released by Boston in March after six years in the organization.

April 14

• Phillies LHP Elniery Garcia

Suspension Length: 80 games
Violating Substances: Boldenone
Garcia, the Phillies’ No. 27 prospect, was added to the 40-man roster in November after going 12-4, 2.68 in 2016. The slight lefthander has sneaky life to his fastball and has a solid four-pitch mix. He had yet to pitch this season because of a shoulder issue.

April 7

• Pirates RHP Junior Lopez

Suspension Length: 25 games
Violating Substances: undisclosed violation of drug program
Lopez, 25, has pitched two innings above high Class A since signing in 2013 from the Dominican Republic.

April 6

• Giants RHP Jose Dominguez

Suspension Length: 142 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol (second positive)
Dominguez, 26, signed with the Giants in December after spending 2016 with the Padres. He’s also pitched in the majors for the Dodgers, who originally signed him out of the Dominican Republic, and the Rays.

• Yankees LHP Miguel Sulbaran

Suspension Length: 25 games
Violating Substances: undisclosed violation of drug program
Acquired from the Twins for Eduardo Nunez in 2014, Sulburan did not pitch in 2016 due to injury.

• Mariners RHP Frank Encarnacion

Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
Encarnacion, 22, has spent the past three season in Rookie-level DSL. He was 4-3, 2.37 in 17 games (three starts) in 2016.

• Mariners RHP Andy Taveras

Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
Taveras, 21, was a teammmate of Encarnacion in the DSL. He was 1-3, 6.98 in 15 relief appearances.

• Tigers RHP Jose Ramirez

Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
Ramirez, 19, was 2-2, 8.28 in 16 relief appearances in the DSL. Ramirez walked 30 in 25 innings.

April 4

• Astros SS Jonathan Arauz

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Methamphetamine
Arauz, the Astros’ No. 17 prospect, was acquired from the Phillies along with Ken Giles in the trade that sent Vince Velasquez and four others East. Arauz was expected to begin the season at low Class A Quad Cities. Arauz lacks a plus tool, but has a well-rounded skill set with an above-average throwing arm.

• Dodgers RHP Edward Perez

Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: metabolites of Stanozolol
Perez, 21, spent the past three seasons in the DSL, going 5-1, 1.69 in 21 appearances all in relief in 2016. He struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings, but walked 4.8, in line with his career numbers.

• Red Sox SS Jeremy Rivera

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Undisclosed violation of drug program
The Puerto Rico-born Rivera, a 17th-round pick out of El Paso CC in 2014, slashed .260/.300/.334 last season at low Class A Greenville. He was scheduled to begin the season at high Class A Salem.

• Giants C Cody Brickhouse

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Brickhouse, a 15th-round pick in 2015 out of Sarasota (Fla.) High, spent the past two season in the Rookie-level AZL, and got just 48 at-bats in 2016.

• Nationals 2B Emmanuel Burriss

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
The veteran Burris, originally a supplemental first-round pick by the Giants in 2006 out of Kent State, got 45 at-bats in the majors last season with the Phillies. He’s listed on the Nationals’ Triple-A roster after signing as a minor league free agent in December.

• Angels SS Keith Grieshaber

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Grieshaber was a 16th-round pick last June out of Jefferson (Mo.) JC. He slashed .317/.362/.405 at two Rookie-level clubs in 2016 and was listed to start the season again at short-season Orem.

• Reds RHP Ian Kahaloa

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Kahaloa, the Reds’ No. 26 prospect, impressed in 10 starts at short-season Billings last season. The 19-year-old Hawaiian, a fifth-round pick in 2015, has average stuff that plays up thanks to his ability to hide the ball and work the bottom of the zone. He was expected to begin the year back in Rookie ball.

• Giants C Ty Ross

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Ross, 25, was a 12th-round pick in 2013 out of Louisiana State. A solid catch-and-throw guy, Ross has not hit much as a pro and has spent the past two seasons at high Class A.

Feb. 15

• Free agent OF L.J. Hoes
Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Hoes, a third-round pick of the Orioles in 2008, spent 2016 in the Baltimore organization after being purchased from the Astros in November 2015. Hoes was traded by Baltimore along with Josh Hader in an ill-advised deal for righthander Bud Norris at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2013. Hader has gone on to become the top lefthanded prospect and No. 33 overall in the Top 100 Prospects.

• Braves IF Gabe Howell

Suspension Length: 68 games
Violating Substances: Hydrochlorothiazide
Howell, 18, was a 20th-round pick from Trion (Ga.) High last June. He hit .150/.292/.150 in just 20 at-bats for the Rookie-level GCL Braves.

• Diamondbacks C Ryan January

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Amphetamine
January, 19, was an eighth-round pick last June out of San Jacinto (Texas) JC. At Rookie-level Missoula, January showed the above-average lefthanded power he was projected to have, slugging 10 homers in just 183 at-bats. He has the tools to catch with above-average arm strength, but he needs refinement.

• Cardinals LHP Corey Littrell

Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Littrell, a 2013 fifth-round pick from Kentucky, is the remaining player from the Allen Craig-John Lackey deal with the Red Sox in 2014. He went 2-4, 3.90 in 53 appearances this season, recording 49 strikeouts in 51.1 innings at Triple-A Memphis. His velocity jumped, and he held lefties to a .177 average and was thought to have a shot at a bullpen spot left vacant by Zach Duke’s elbow surgery.

• Rockies IF Yeremi Rosario

Suspension Length: 72 games
Violating Substances: Tamoxifen
In two seasons in the DSL, the slightly built Rosario, 19, has compiled just a .534 OPS. The Rockies signed Rosario for $800,000 in 2014, their second-biggest bonus of the 2014-15 signing period.


Jan. 13

• Reds RHP Carlos Gonzalez
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Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Methamphetamine
Gonzalez, 26, was a 21st-round pick in 2011 out of Cal State Northridge. He’s gotten to Double-A each of the past three seasons, recording eight saves for Pensacola in 2016.

• Mets RHP Gary Cornish
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Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Amphetamine
Cornish, a 19th-round pick out of San Diego last June, was 0-0, 2.16 with three saves and 44 strikeouts in just 25 innings at short-season Brooklyn. Cornish isn’t overpowering, with a fastball that sits low 90s, but he has outstanding command, with a 44/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He throws a four-seam fastball, two-seamer and a curveball that has slurve action.

• Astros RHP Makay Nelson
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Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Amphetamine
Nelson was a 20th-round pick in 2015 from JC of Southern Idaho. He was a starting pitcher as a prep player in Utah, but with his small stature profiles better as a reliever. His fastball touches 95 mph out of the bullpen.

• Red Sox C Tyler Spoon
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Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Amphetamine
A 35th-round pick in 2015 out of Arkansas, Spoon was drafted 34 rounds after—and by the same team as—the guy he hit behind for the Razorbacks. Spoon protected Andrew Benintendi at Arkansas and led the team in doubles in 2015. An outfielder in college, Spoon has been primarily a catcher as a pro.

• Tigers RHP Tommy Collier
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Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Collier, 27, a 22nd-round pick in 2011 out of San Jacinto (Texas) JC, has pitched the past four seasons at Double-A Erie. Collier relies on a fastball that sits in the 90-92 mph range with good sinking action, a slider that can be a plus pitch at times along with a changeup.

• Free agent IF Kal Simmons
Suspension Length: 50 games
Violating Substances: Drug of abuse (second positive test)
Simmons, an eighth-round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2015 out of Kennesaw State, was released by Arizona on Jan. 4. Simmons was ranked the 10th-best draft-eligible prospect in Georgia in 2015, but he played in just 16 games this season after serving a 50-game suspension levied in September 2015 for testing positive for amphetamines. At his best, Simmons got praised for a high baseball IQ and a solid overall skill set.

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